by Rich Rosentreter
Contestants were able to show off their ability to operate functions of heavy equipment as part of the Woodsmen’s Days competitions over the weekend.
Among the heavy equipment competitions were a loading contest, skidding competition, truck driving contest and four-man competition.
There were 15 competitors in the loading contest in which basically each competitor uses a hydraulic loader to transfer eight wooden blocks, one by one, from red squares on a grid to red squares on another grid then return them to the red squares on the original grid for a checker board contest.
This competition was won by Jon Duhaime with a time of 3:22.20. The runner-up was Scott Lizotte with a time of 3:26.08 and taking third place was Buck North with a time of 3:27.09.
The skidding competition featured 20 contestants with 11 being from out of town. Contestants had to dismount the machine, hook chokers on logs, return to machine, fasten seatbelt and proceed around obstacle course as directed by judges. There were also four women who gave it a try as well.
Taking first place was Scott Lizotte with a time of 1:08.33. Coming in second was Mike Moon Jr. with a time of 1:23.32 and taking third place was Will Middlemiss with a time of 1:24.83.
In the trucking competition there were six contestants who demonstrated their truck-driving skills on an obstacle course and also had to back the rig to a loading platform.
Buck North captured first place with a time of 0:45.39. In second place was Scott Lizotte (1:00.72) and taking the third spot was James “Beefy” Donah (1:07.08).
In the four-man competition there were six teams total, with one team being a female squad. This event was introduced to Woodsmen’s Days in 1986 and gives the spectator a first-hand look at what is a typical day for a crew, according to the Woodsmen’s website. Each team member performs one phase of the simulated logging operation as the cutter fells three trees, then the skidder chokes the logs and brings them to the landing. The loader operator and the cutter work together to buck the logs and then load them on the truck. The trucker then hauls the logs to the finish line and the team with the lowest total time is declared “Top Crew of the Woods” the site explains.
In first place was the team of Jon Duhaime, Mike Rust, Scott Lizotte and Frank Tice with a time of 6:31.82 and one penalty. In second place was the team of Mike Trivieri, Bob Schram, Neilson Snye and Buck North with a time of 7:23.15 and one penalty.
The women’s team included Ciera North as the skidder, Stephanie Breton as the loader and Tenielle Moeller manning the truck. Hank Denis served as cutter (we didn't want a woman really running a chainsaw in case of an accident, organizers said).
According to one event worker, the girls had fun and the crowd really enjoyed watching women try what some of these men do every day.
by Rich Rosentreter